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Today’s Highlight in History:
On June 24, 1947, what’s regarded as the first modern UFO sighting took place as private pilot Kenneth Arnold, an Idaho businessman, reported seeing nine silvery objects flying in a “weaving formation” near Mount Rainier in Washington.
On this date:
In 1497, the first recorded sighting of North America by a European took place as explorer John Cabot spotted land, probably in present-day Canada.
In 1509, Henry VIII was crowned king of England; his wife, Catherine of Aragon, was crowned queen consort.
In 1793, the first republican constitution in France was adopted.
In 1807, a grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, indicted former Vice President Aaron Burr on charges of treason and high misdemeanor (he was later acquitted).
In 1908, Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, died in Princeton, New Jersey, at age 71.
In 1939, the Southeast Asian country Siam changed its name to Thailand. (It went back to being Siam in 1945, then became Thailand once again in 1949.)
In 1948, Communist forces cut off all land and water routes between West Germany and West Berlin, prompting the western allies to organize the Berlin Airlift.
In 1957, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roth v. United States, ruled 6-3 that obscene materials were not protected by the First Amendment.
In 1967, Pope Paul VI issued an encyclical, Sacerdotalis caelibatus, reaffirming the Catholic Church’s position on priestly celibacy. The Jefferson Airplane single “White Rabbit,” written by Grace Slick, was released by RCA Victor.
In 1975, 113 people were killed when Eastern Airlines Flight 66, a Boeing 727 carrying 124 people, crashed while attempting to land during a thunderstorm at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
In 1987, comedian-actor Jackie Gleason died at his home in Lauderhill, Florida, at age 71.
In 1997, the U.S. Air Force released a report on the so-called “Roswell Incident,” suggesting the “alien bodies” that witnesses reported seeing in 1947 were actually life-sized dummies. Actor Brian Keith was found dead in his Malibu home, an apparent suicide; he was 75.